Amazon to Sell Smart Devices, Services in Kohl’s Stores

Continuing its push into physical stores, Amazon plans to open boutiques within 10 Kohl’s stores in Los Angeles and Chicago in October, where Amazon associates will sell its smart devices and offer its smart home services.

The 1,000-square-foot spaces within Kohl’s stores will feature Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Amazon Fire TVs and Fire tablets. They will also showcase the use of these products for creating a smart home experience powered by the Alexa voice assistant.

Customers will be able to schedule an in-home consultation with Amazon professionals, similar to Best Buy’s popular Geek Squad service, including device layout and installation. And if that’s not enough, there will also be access to Amazon Home Services – its version of Angie’s List – which can connect shoppers to pre-screened local services professionals such as house cleaners and plumbers.

“We believe in the power of our store portfolio and know that our future as a best-in-class omnichannel retailer will be driven by how inventive, compelling and unique we can make our store experience,” said Michelle Gass, Kohl’s chief merchandising and customer officer in a release. “Kohl’s and Amazon share a customer obsession and we’ve joined together to leverage each other’s strengths and deliver a great experience customers can only find at Kohl’s.”

“We are thrilled to offer a unique new way for customers to try out our lineup of Alexa-enabled Amazon devices, learn more about our smart home services from Amazon experts and then buy those items directly from Amazon—all within Kohl’s stores,” said Dave Zimmer, vice president, sales and marketing, Amazon Devices, in the release. “Teaming up with Kohl’s provides an incredible opportunity to pair world-class customer and shopping experiences.”

MCM Musings: As in all things, Amazon is looking to own the experience from beginning to end with this Kohl’s partnership. It’s also interesting considering how competitive Kohl’s is with Amazon – as with most all retailers – in terms of its store assortment. This represents a first for apparel and home goods seller Kohl’s, which previously has not had a home electronics or device section, and an expansion of sorts of its omnichannel strategy. The company is betting on incremental sales from increased traffic as shoppers are drawn to the Amazon store-within-a-store. It’s also ahead of the curve vs. other retailers in the fast-growing smart home space.

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